Through their five senses, our children are constantly learning, growing and adapting to and from their environment and peers. So it can be quite overwhelming for children with autism and/or sensory processing disorders to process all these changes that are ocurring around them. As some kids with autism are either too sensitive or not sensitive enough. They might not always understand what’s going on socially and/or mentally. Where there is a lack awareness to the world around them.
Sensory overload or an overload of information is sometimes the biggest cause. Yet others might not understand this or arent educated on autism spectrum disorders and sensory processing disorders. These children might come off as “bad” , uncooperative, lazy or even “crazy”. When in reality they are struggling to adapt to changes in their environment, to process sensory information. Their brains often “take in” too much or too little with their ears, eyes, nose and mouth. So what would not normally affect typically developing children; can literally be painful and aggravating to children with autism. Where it causes anxiety, stress, meltdowns and behavorial changes.
So its important for parents, caregivers and teachers to be aware of possible sensory triggers for children with autism. While doing anything they can to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Because raising autism doesn’t always have to be stressful.Your child wont always have a meltdown in public. So you dont have to worry if things will get better. They will, but it takes hard work and dedication.
Raising autism means, making adjustments in our lives to improve the quality of our children’s lives. While remaining aware and educated on issues like sensory overload to reduce our own stress load. As we embrace the idea that autism is a way of life, not a curse. It means doing things out of the norm and loving it because it works for those of us raising autism.
5 Tips to Avoid Sensory Over Load:
- Be aware of you and/or your child’s surroundings. Take note of any possible sensory triggers like loud music or crowded areas. See where changes can be made to reduce the sensory load and make things more comfortable for them in their environment.
- Always stay positive, while reminding your children of the times that they smelt something beautiful or when that soft sound was literally music to their ears. As negativity only breeds negative thoughts and feelings.
- Reduce or monitor your child’s “screen” time. Which means anything with a screen; a phone, television , computer or Ipad. Too many colorful graphics, loud noise and overstimulation for extended periods of time can cause sensory overload and meltdowns.
- Encourage your children to engage in less stimulating, yet relaxing activities like reading books and playing outside. For the simple things sometimes, are more than enough to make them happy without risking a meltdown.
- Always be supportive of your child and their needs. Seek professional help like an occupational therapist, if necessary.
What is sensory processing disorder? Could my child have it? Learn more here about the Signs and Symptoms
Read more information on sensory processing disorders and how to help your child avoid sensory overload. Tips to Cope with Sensitivities